Starring: Siddharth, Harini, Manikandan, Nakul, Sai, Bharath, Vivek
Music: A R Rahman
Written and Directed by: Shankar

BOYS - They are terrific boys as you can expect only from Shankar. The first few scenes which establish their character as joLLu parties has been very nicely done. Especially, the main hero Munna walks innocently in a residential area, approaches a girl and asks for an address in a paper. She sees it and then says that this house is a few blocks away on the next street. Then he asks whether she knows of a handsome, smart guy called Munna who is living in this address. She says no, little surprsied. Then he adjusts his shirt collar properly and reveals that he himself is Munna, that handsome, smart boy. She gets disgusted and walks off. A Shankar punch. Each of the boys has a particular talent , all relevant to music field, and each boy also has a particular theory as to how to impress a girl. They all study in different colleges, but meet at a kutti suvar regularly to carry out their joLLu activities.

They meet Vivek in a bar and use him to satisfy their "thirst." They end up taking him to his house after he passes out. A bond is created between them.

After establishing their credentials, the first half an hour is spent in further underscoring that image. Some scenes go beyond the decency limit, something one would never have expected in a Shankar movie. Especially a lengthy scene involving a prostitute who is brought to Munna's house when his parents go out of station, is too much atrocious and will make family audiences turn around in their seats embarrassed. In this scene, each boy comes out after spending some time inside without doing anything, but claim that they had a nice time. However, this scene contributes to a vital plot twist in the second half, so I will forgive it.

The boys get introduced to the heroine Harini and her friends shortly after this and Munna falls deeply in love with Harini at first sight. The scenes where Munna tries to propose to her are very nicely done. He writes some poetry and she continues to behave indifferently. There is one beautiful kavithai here. He writes,

ஒரே வார்த்தையில் கவிதை சொல்லவா??

ஒரே எழுத்தில் கவிதை சொல்லவா??

She is impressed, but she doesn't want to fall in love as she fears it mat affect her concentration in studies, so keeps refusing. Munna turns to her friend for some help and next day she informs Munna that Harini has asked him to run naked across Anna Salai in a busy evening to prove his love for her. He says OK and does so. He is arrested after a lengthy chase for being a public nuisance and behaving in an indecent way. (This chase scene is spectatcularly executed.. In an interview, Shankar said that this scene was filmed over 7 nights between 11 pm and 4 am, but still they have used briiliant lighting and vehicle strength to make it look like a busy evening..) He is sentenced to one day imprisonment. The whole running-nude-in-MountRoad is the friend's idea of a joke and Harini is upset about this. In the jail, she meets Munna and still finds that he loves her. She reciprocates and the romance begins. In the mean time, each of the boy is paired with a girl (all Harini's friends)

This running around nude is published as a photograph in "Dhina thanthi" (where else??) and Munna's parents are shocked to their core. They immediately call for a meeting with all the boys' and girls' parents where they advise about the fallacy of love. An interesting feature is found here. Munna's parents had fallen in love at a very young age and married against their parents' wishes and so are struggling in life. So they oppose love. Harini's father had loved a girl in his young days, but had decided that career is more important and left that girl. That is why he is so successful today, he argues and opposes love. The parents end the meeting by putting numerous restrictions on their children never to meet each other.

The few scenes after this about how they flout this restriction and get caught are very hilarious. Each of the boy imagines his parent to be Idi Ameen-the dictator, Bin Laden, Veerappan, etc. Oneday there is earthquake in Chennai and fearing the well-being of each other, the boys and girls come out of their houses and meet at a place, happy to find each other safe. Munna and Harini also realise that they cannot live without each other. They decide to elope to Thirupathi and get married. Vivek arranges the marriage and Munna weds Harini. They are caught by police while returning and their parents refuse to take them back. So the Boys decide to create their own future. They stay in a small motor shed in one of the girls' houses. Munna wants to celebrate first night, but Harini refuses and points out that they need to get settled first before they can think about these things. You can't help feeling sorry for Munna when he asks pleadingly, "Is there no non-veg for me??" and she says, "No.." He argues, "Atleast give me some muttai", while she says, "only muttai cose can be given..!!"

The Boys and the girl find some part-time job, but find that this is only enough for daily expenses, not for their college fees and all. One of the boys has seen Aiyyappan cassettes being sold like hot cakes near the temple and so suggests they too put one cassette. They agree and bring out a very nice cassette and get lot of money. They move to a new house, but still run short of money to pay fees, etc. They are approached by a guy asking them to compose songs for a street play against the current political scenario. This guy sounds very much like a member of naxalite groups and their play is also very much anti-government. The police get into the act and arrest our gang under POTA. After much efforts, the key member of the naxalites is arrested and he informs the police that the Boys gang was not associated with them. They are released. They find that they have been dismissed from college for indulging in anti-social activities. They are crestfallen, but Vivek consoles them and points out that they must use their musical talents and create a new career. However, it is easier said than done. They approach SONY chief but he refuses to listen to their song. They capture his attention by playing a song during the India-Australia match in Chennai. They get a contract.

To celebrate this, they get to drinking, much against Harini's wishes. In their drunken state, the boys tease one of them about his habit of reading porno magazines. He is very embarrassed and starts shouting that they are no better than him, and tells about the prostitute that they all had together. Harini is devastated on hearing this. The explanations of Munna that nothing happened are not heeded by Harini and she goes back to her parents. She even removes her "thaali" and throws it away.

The boys try to track the prostitute to get her to say what happened that night, but are unable to find her. One of the boys sees her in a bus and in an attempt to get her attention, he climbs the running bus and gets hit badly and is dead. Everybody is ruined, and Munna wants Harini to comeback atleast for the song recording to help out their friends, even if they remain separated. Harini's parents want him to sign a divorce agreement and he agrees, ignoring the pleading of the other boys not to. The BOYS album creates hsitory and they win many MTV awards. After a small trick by Vivek the pair Munna-Harini is united. THE END.

Now to the other aspects. There are quite a few Shankar touches all through the film. Initially there is one scene where the Boys are sitting in the kutti suvar waiting for the heroine and her friends. When the girls cross the boys, they lift their skirts and pants little bit and walk and a sound of walking through water is given, indicating that a joLLu river is flowing. Also when Harini accepts Munna's love in the prison, she runs back happily and we see that she is walking a few inches above the ground. Brilliant.!!

Sujatha's dialogues are naughty. funny and touching at sevaral points. Especially the scene where Harini confronts her parents at the petorl bunk where she has found a part-time job is simply mind blowing.

Music is an important component of the film. "Girlfriend" is the best picturised song, it is refreshingly fresh and naughty. The computer generated girlfriend is mixed neatly in this song. "Kaathal sonna kaName" is also very impressive, especially the time slice technique used in this song. "Boom Boom" has some graphics which may have been avoided. There is enough creativity in this song in terms of using the scrap materials to create the setting that such graphics are unnecessary. "Maro Maro" is also very nicely picturised. The Aiyyappan song that they compose is too good.

Performance wise, the best performances in the film belong to Vivek, Harini and Siddarth in that order. Vivek has done an outstanding job, not only in comedy but also in some senti scenes. Especially when he passes out in the bar after vomitting, the boys take him to his house and give him a bath. Vivek is standing in underwear in the shower and one of the boys is putting soap on his chest. Vivek innocently says, "ennadaa, ennai shakila range-kku aakkittiingalE." Awesome..!!

The film can be watched one time, but only in a theatre. Somebody like me may watch it a second time too, for Harini (hi hi..) and the music..!!


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